National Nutrition Month® is a campaign of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, held each year in March, to “focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.” It started 50 years ago as National Nutrition Week and became a month-long celebration in 1980.
The theme for National Nutrition Month® 2023 is "Fuel for the Future."
The concept this theme emphasizes is the importance of fueling our bodies, no matter our age or activity level, with healthful food and beverage choices. Additionally, eating healthfully provides lasting benefits to our health and the health of our planet well into the future.
Each year, in addition to selecting an overriding theme, the Academy creates messages that support the theme. With 5 weeks in March, there are 5 key messages with four actionable tips to put each one into practice.
What makes the NNM messages effective?
Let’s look at the weekly messages and tips and consider the communication principles employed to make them successful:
They are declarative statements that tell the audience clearly what to do.
They use simple language and avoid the use of jargon. Eat rather than consume.
Each statement begins with a verb – eat, enjoy, use, find, learn…
The statements are concise and to the point. No unnecessary words.
The statements are positive action steps. Only one uses words such as avoid.
Each statement supports the overall theme.
Here they are...
Week 1: Eat with the environment in mind.
Enjoy more plant-based meals and snacks.
Purchase foods with minimal packaging.
Buy foods in season and shop locally when possible.
Start a container or backyard garden to grow food at home.
Week 2: See a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).
Ask your doctor for a referral to an RDN.
Find an RDN who specializes in your unique needs.
Learn how nutrient needs may change with age.
Receive personalized nutrition information to meet your health goals.
Week 3: Stay nourished and save money.
Plan your meals and snacks.
See what food you have at home before purchasing more.
Use a grocery list and shop sales when purchasing food.
Learn about community resources such as SNAP, WIC and local food banks.
Week 4: Eat a variety of foods from all food groups.
Include your favorite cultural foods and traditions.
Eat foods in various forms including fresh, frozen, canned and dried.
Avoid fad diets that promote unnecessary restrictions.
Practice gratitude for your body by giving it the fuel it needs.
Week 5: Make tasty foods at home.
Learn cooking and meal preparation skills.
Try new flavors and foods from around the world.
Find creative ways to use leftovers rather than tossing them.
Create happy memories by eating with friends and family when possible.
Celebrate National Nutrition Month!
Each year, the Academy provides numerous ideas for celebrating National Nutrition Month. In honor of the 50th anniversary, here are 50 ideas:
Here is the complete list of NNM resources
Check out these previous posts about NNM:
“Food is the fuel that keeps your body running smoothly throughout your life, so give it the nutrients it needs to meet each life stage.” ~ Amy Bragagnini, RDN, Academy Spokesperson
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